Britain’s housing market is never far from the headlines, and recent weeks and months have proved no exception. But, as the Guardian reported this month, house price falls have actually been pretty modest, not least given the background of rising interest rates and the post-lockdown property boom. And, in fact, as the paper stressed, the market has proved remarkably resilient, with the typical property still worth £45,000 more than it was before the beginning of the pandemic back in early 2020. Indeed, the paper adds, it is this resilience which is the real story, rather than any imminent market crash.
Of course, the situation is still pretty unpredictable and potentially changing, while further dips in prices are certainly not out of the question.
But it’s important to remember that people are still moving, and indeed will always want and need to find new homes at different points in their lives, and for myriad different reasons. Equally, people will always be eager to purchase their next property for a reasonable price.
Sure, you may find there are fewer prospective buyers around at the moment. But the ones we at Oakfield tend to meet and introduce to sellers are serious about moving home.
We’re aware that, particularly right now, some agents are over-valuing houses and flats and citing inflated property prices in a bid to get the listing on their books. Often they’re doing so on a wing and a prayer, and simply hoping for the best.
In contrast, our strategy at Oakfield is to help vendors come up with a realistic price which will attract serious interest.
So if you’re not generating the responses your current agent promised, it could be time to change tack with a fresh approach.
Here’s why reducing the price of your home may not be the terrible tactic it may have previously been considered to be – the general assumption once was that it would make the seller look desperate, and simply be an invitation for ludicrously low offers.
But that may not be the case anymore; here’s why:
- Attitudes have changed
It won’t occur to buyers that you may be desperate to sell at any price in the way it may once have done. Instead, prospective purchasers are far more likely to believe that you are serious about selling, and they will feel pleased to have got a good price, as you would when buying anything else.
- Sometimes, it simply can’t be helped
Adjustments do sometimes need to be made, especially if you are keen (not desperate!) to make a sale because, say, you need to relocate for work. That’s especially true if your place has been up for sale for a little while, and you’re still not seeing any movement or the numbers of viewings you’d like.
- An asking price is never set in stone
Remember that an initial asking price is only ever an estimate, albeit an educated one – no one has a crystal ball and these things are certainly not set in stone. Asking price merely reflects what the agent (and seller) reckon they can get for the property.
The UK’s property market is a fast-moving one, especially just now, and so people understand that things change, and that it’s virtually impossible to get everything spot-on from the word go, however hard we all try.
- It can provide an all-important, decisive nudge
If a prospective purchaser happens to be undecided, they may well be tempted to take the plunge and put in an offer if the price comes down, however slightly. It could provide the push they needed.
- Widen your pool of potential buyers
Even a modest adjustment could mean that you bring your home into a different price bracket so that you attract buyers who weren’t even previously aware that the place was up for sale, since it fell outside their original budget.
It may also bring the property in line with what a viewer feels it is worth and what they are prepared to pay.
- Use it to refresh your marketing efforts
With a revised price tag, you can reinvigorate the marketing push for your home, with new matches for different buyers and updated mailshots. It’s also a chance to revamp social media posts.
Certainly, a price reduction isn’t the taboo it may once have been. And a buyer won’t like your property any the less because of it, any more than we dislike anything else we’ve picked up for a bargain, such as an item of clothing in a sale.
So when it comes to pricing homes, we’re all for realism while being determined to help sellers realise their properties’ maximum potential.
Unlike other estate agents we could (but won’t) mention, we don’t artificially inflate prices just to get vendors on board. We’ll come up with a clear-eyed figure in keeping with current market values, based on a detailed understanding of our local area and many years’ industry experience.
At Oakfield, we have offices across Hastings, Bexhill and Eastbourne. Get in touch today to learn more about how we could speed up your property sale. Check out our website for our contact details here.